Spinach Cheese Pasties
Pasties. I would guess a large number of you have never heard of these. I didn’t even know how to pronounce them until I was well into my teenage years (PAST-EE), and we have stores in my home town devoted to making ONLY these little pockets of awesomeness. Nothing else. Growing up, local churches had sales to raise money using these. They were well loved, and traditionally made for the iron-ore miners by their wives so they would have a utensil-free meal to eat during their long days of mining.
The essential starting point for these is a really good, really simple pie crust. If pie crusts freak you out, don’t let them. You can ONLY get better with practice, and once you get a feel for it you will never go back to the store-bought variety.
Chunk up your cold butter and shortening. I always buy the shortening sticks because they are easier to measure and chunk up for pie crusts. My favorite crust recipe is always a mix of salted butter and butter flavored shortening. If you don’t like the “butter flavored” portion of that, feel free to use regular shortening, or even all butter.
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- pinch paprika
- 1 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon red chile powder
- 8 ounces fresh spinach, stems removed and thinly sliced
- 1 cup ricotta
- 8 ounces mozzarella, shredded
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg yolk beaten with a splash of water
- In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, and paprika. Slowly pour in the water and melted butter while stirring to make a smooth, cohesive dough. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- In a medium saucepan, heat butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Once the butter is melted, cook the garlic and red chile powder just until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease 2 large baking sheets.
- Divide dough into 12 large or 24 small equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll a piece of dough into a circle about 3/8 inch thick.
- Place 2-3 tablespoons filling in the middle for large pasties or 1-1 1/2 tablespoons filling for small.
- Fold the dough over the filling and press the edges together to seal. Starting at one end, pull the edge out slightly and fold over, repeating until you reach the other side to create a rope appearance. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Brush the tops of the pasties with the egg wash.
- Bake on prepared baking sheets until golden, 20-25 minutes.